verb (used with object)

to sound loudly and sonorously: to peal the bells of a tower.
Obsolete. to assail with loud sounds.

verb (used without object)

to sound forth in a peal; resound.

Origin of peal

1350–1400; Middle English pele, akin to peal to beat, strike (now dial.)
Related formsin·ter·peal, verb (used with object)un·pealed, adjective
Can be confusedpeal peel

Synonyms for peal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pealing

Historical Examples of pealing

  • London was merry-making, with bonfires and pealing of bells, when Will Peake and I entered it.

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • It was not the shouts of men, nor the detonation of guns, nor the pealing of the thunder.

  • Their pealing screams often split the silence of the valley.

    The Yellow Horde

    Hal G. Evarts

  • Another flash, another roar, another crash, a pealing of strange thunder.

    Sea-Dogs All!

    Tom Bevan

  • Trumpets that mustered warriors by thousands were pealing from her walls.


    G. J. (George John) Whyte-Melville

British Dictionary definitions for pealing




a loud prolonged usually reverberating sound, as of bells, thunder, or laughter
bell-ringing a series of changes rung in accordance with specific rules, consisting of not fewer than 5000 permutations in a ring of eight bells
(not in technical usage) the set of bells in a belfry


(intr) to sound with a peal or peals
(tr) to give forth loudly and sonorously
(tr) to ring (bells) in peals

Word Origin for peal

C14 pele, variant of apele appeal




a dialect name for a grilse or a young sea trout
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pealing



mid-14c., "a ringing of a bell" especially as a call to church service, generally considered a shortened form of appeal (n.), with the notion of a bell that "summons" people to church (cf. similar evolution in peach (v.)). Extended sense of "loud ringing of bells" is first recorded 1510s.



1630s, from peal (n.). Related: Pealed; pealing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper